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Messages - geegee

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Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 26, 2009, 01:07:52 am »
I had no problems at all. People-wise, everyone I came across was nice to me (except for a couple of yahoos screaming out of car windows, but those jerks exist elsewhere). I was given free food three times, and offered a ride when I was cycling in the rain (I declined). Bike-wise the only snag I had was a flat tire on the last afternoon of my tour.

Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 25, 2009, 09:28:44 am »
Good guess, it took me 16 days. Mostly favourable winds, a glancing SE breeze off the sea, and a couple of days of bracing NNW winds with 30 mph gusts in the middle of the FL panhandle. A mix of accommodations half of it camping, a couple of WS hosts, some motels as cheap as $29, and one hotel splurge in New Orleans because I wanted to be close to the Saturday night action. I took a light tent with me, a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2.

All the new bridges along the coast are excellent. It was a bit disappointing to see US 90 through Biloxi newly rebuilt without any bike lanes or a decent beachside pathway/promenade. With very minimal investment in cycling infrastructure to iron out a few rough spots (missing shoulders, alternate bike paths), this route has the makings of a great tour that offers a fantastic variety of scenery and culture.

General Discussion / Re: Best Camera for touring?
« on: March 25, 2009, 12:02:03 am »
I bought an Olympus Stylus 850 SW specifically four bike touring because it can take a fair amount of abuse. It's waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. The 8 megapixels is adequate, and the newer models go up to 12. The large screen is good for reviewing pictures and is bright enough that you'll overlook the lack of an optical viewfinder. I've had mine for a year and a half now, and I also take it on kayak tours. No problems so far.

other models:

Routes / Re: Orlando FL to Houston TX
« on: March 24, 2009, 07:17:15 pm »
Just got back from my ride, had a great time, mostly good weather.

For anyone interested in this route, I've mapped out the data from my GPS:

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:45:01 pm »
I haven't been back to Eastern Europe since that time (so much of the world to see!) but regarding campgrounds, my observation is the ones in Europe are so well established that map makers confidently publish them unlike here in Norh America where the situation changes so much from year to year that it would render maps obsolete quickly

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 20, 2009, 10:54:26 am »
That's one of the problems with having bicycle paths that are parallel to roads — the make motorists believe that cyclists don't belong on the roads in the sections where the paths do disappear. These types of paths also resemble sidewalks (and often merge into sidewalks) and confuse cyclists with what the rules really are. I especially hate the ones that switch to either side of the road every few miles.  I like dedicated bike paths, but I think they should be built on their own as special routes away from highways. As part of a highway, I prefer wide shoulders or bike lanes.

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 19, 2009, 08:52:20 am »
I used the Michelin map and it seemed to have all the campgrounds marked on it.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:44:14 am »
I have one of these double kickstands and they are great:

They are particularly useful when you have to change a flat tire since the bike can stand up with only one wheel on. It is also great for fine tuning your shifting/derailleurs as you can lift and spin the rear wheel easily by tipping the bike forward. It's almost like having a repair stand on the road.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 16, 2009, 05:53:13 pm »
I brought the bike inside the other night and that seemed to do the trick in getting the pawls to spring back and engage with regularity. I've had it outside all winter, including during a couple of cold snaps when temperatures dropped down to  -30˚C (-22˚F), so the grease must have really gelled up. I'll try putting some oil as you guys suggest.

Although I have done a bit of winter cycling before, this is the first winter I've done it extensively with studded tires, and I really enjoyed cycling through a couple of snow storms. We had a public transit strike during the months of December and January, so many of us in Ottawa were left to taking up cycling through the worst of the Canadian winter. I've kept it up even though the buses have started running.

Gear Talk / Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 14, 2009, 04:08:20 pm »
Anyone here into winter cycling? I wonder what you do about pawls freezing in your freewheel hub. I am also thinking about getting a bike with an internal hub — are these immune to freezing?

Routes / Re: Planning a Route verte trip this summer
« on: February 14, 2009, 10:49:15 am »
Most of your route via Sherbrooke will be on dedicated bike paths, some on old rail trails. One of the things about that route is it goes deep into "poutine country" and several towns along the way (Warwick, Victoriaville, etc) claim to be the origin of the greasy snack . I guess with all the riding you'll be doing, you can afford to sample and judge for yourself who makes the best recipe :)  There is also more refined cuisine to sample in this area -- it is home to many excellent artisan cheesemakers, and duck/goose farming. Look for local duck confit or foie gras.

General Discussion / Re: passport/CAN/US
« on: February 09, 2009, 09:08:16 am »
As of this year, a passport is required for travel between the USA and Canada. The US also issues passport cards which are easier to carry but is only good for travel to Canada and Mexico

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Vancouver
« on: February 09, 2009, 08:59:21 am »
Vancouver has decent bike routes crisscrossing the city and the cycling community is very active there. I have issues with the routes switching from bike lanes to dedicated paths to shared sidewalks, which as a visitor you might find a bit confusing at times. Finding a place to stay in the area south of downtown would probably be convenient as a base for exploring.

As for ferries to Vancouver Island, the one to Nanaimo is easier to get to by bike, while the one towards Victoria involves a tunnel prohibited to bikes and you'll have to get on a bus to cross it (they have bike racks but you have to remove all your panniers). Victoria is a great place to visit on your time schedule.

General Discussion / Re: Long distance cycling and supliments
« on: January 28, 2009, 04:54:24 pm »
I usually take ordinary multi vitamins that are geared for active people, like Centrum Performance. I find it does help my energy level from day to day while touring. I've heard creatine does not really do much for cardio-vascular exertion, and may demand extra hydration from your body, something that is already in short supply when you are sweating a lot. I've taken creatine when doing weight training and it does have results when taken in short concentrated periods while doing targeted muscle-building exercises. It does little for endurance and may be hard on your kidneys/liver when taken over long periods especially when you are on a strenuous schedule like long distance cycling.

Routes / Re: Handcyle with wheelchair
« on: January 24, 2009, 01:46:17 pm »
I've seen several kits to convert wheelchairs into handcycles, but you're probably aware of them already:

Best of luck on your adventure. Don't fret too much about dogs, most of the worst behaved dogs are usually tied up or fenced. Plus, although you are lower to the ground, your three-wheeled set-up is more stable and you'll probably be able to reach for defense easier than an upright cyclist could.

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